I am being careful to give you my thoughts and impressions without having listened to any post-debate media spin and analysis. I advise you to watch it yourself if you missed it for the same reason - to make your own opinion instead of taking one handed to you on a platter!
OK. Biden divided his time between being ultra-smooth a la Clinton and being super rude. REALLY rude. And the moderater did absolutely nothing about Biden. I would have turned off his mike! He kept interrupting Ryan when it was his turn, even when Ryan pointed out that the American people would be better served by listening to them talk without interrupting each other. Biden seemed mostly patronizing, whether smooth or rude. He talked down to everyone. He kept labeling Ryan's points as nonsense when they made perfect sense. It was annoying.
It made me think of what I've heard of the Clarence Thomas nomination hearings when the liberals said smoothly to him that it was just a formality, piece of cake; the actual hearing were more like being tied to the railroad tracks. Ryan was subject to treatment like that last night. Yet he is the one who both played defense and offense. Biden stuck mostly with offense only, as Obama had done. He did a little better defending Obama's record than Obama himself had but he still left a lot of things unanswered.
Ryan, for his part, kept a smile on his face a lot of the time, was respectful and soft-spoken, and didn't seem irritated by Biden. That is hard to do. I was about ready to turn off the TV I was so irritated with Biden! Biden made a point of inserting his own voice over any defense or substantive remark of Ryan's. The moderator would cut off Ryan afterwards instead of giving him a chance to finish. To her credit, she occasionally cut Biden off too and she asked questions that were not overtly liberal except for one: abortion as relates to their Catholicism. Ryan finished the evening with the last closing statement, and a very strong one. He was polite and friendly to the end.
In conclusion, the liberals are probably going to claim victory for Biden but if he won, it was because of general uncivility. Not from defending Obama's record. We heard little from Biden that we had not heard before in the first Romney/Obama debate. The same tired old lies were repeated by Biden last night. Biden made a point of calling Ryan a liar throughout the entire debate (overdone, I think) but Ryan got the only laugh from the audience. No one joined in Biden's raucous laughter when Ryan would bring up legitimate concerns about the Obama administration.
I think conservatives can safely say that Paul Ryan held his ground and did us proud.
And now I'll see what some other people thought. This is as instructive as forming one's own opinion, because sometimes analysis from one side or the other will bring up good points that one might have missed oneself.